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Topic: Routine, Tips, and now for the Finale!
Message: Posted by: Priest (Aug 1, 2002 11:47PM)
Ok, I have a question. In my head I am putting together a short street routine.

From the different shows I've seen on the streets here of NYC, it's best to explain to people that you are about to do the great finale, but FIRST, time to collect the tips.

I've seen that this encourages people to tip and tip more, since they will still be sticking around a few minutes longer. Versus the show being over and you trying to collect tips and people are walking away.

Now on to the question. In your opinions, what is the BEST greatest close-up/street trick to do for a grand finale?

~Priest~
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Aug 2, 2002 02:35AM)
"In my head I am putting together a short street routine. From the different shows I've seen on the streets here of NYC, "

Have you thought that perhaps some people will be unhappy about you STEALING parts of their acts?

OR perhaps you have done the rigt thing and got permission to use them?

Phillip
Message: Posted by: Sniper (Aug 2, 2002 02:57AM)
[quote]
On 2002-08-02 03:35, p.b.jones wrote:

Have you thought that perhap's some people will be unhappy about you STEALING parts of their acts?[/quote]

I don't think he has stolen anything, as much as learned how to pace and present a show from successful performers.

With street performing, it is all important to hold the spectators with promise of a big finale. Referring to it throughout the show will keep them there, as well as enhance interest in everything leading up to it.

Which is essential if you want to make any $$$ in this most difficult of venues...

Sn!per
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Aug 2, 2002 05:46AM)
Priest,
You probably want a highly visible effect, that leaves you mobile (so you can wander the crowd, for the hat), and one that is not over too quickly.
I use the Needle Thru Balloon. Depending on the show and venue, I have made the needle up like (a) a huge hypodermic needle; or (b)a jewel-hilted sword (just take the hilt from a kid's plastic sword and hot glue the needle's base in the end).
This involves the audience, can be seen from just about anywhere, and can be done with a (relatively) lengthy buildup.
Besides, you're working the Big Apple, so it's not a bad idea to finish with a foot and a half of sharpened steel in your hand! :rotf:
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Aug 2, 2002 05:46AM)
Hi,
He does not say that he learned anything from other acts but,

"In my head I am putting together a short street routine. From the different shows I've seen on the streets here of NYC, "

Forgive me if I am wrong, it sounds as if he is taking a bit here and a bit there of other performers acts and making an act from it.

Fine if you get permission from each performer otherwise I think it is stealing

Phillip
Message: Posted by: MAGICTOM (Aug 2, 2002 08:56AM)
Hey Phillip,
I understand your point of view on the "stealing" issue, there are probably a lot of magicians out there that would be really offended if they saw their routine or act performed by someone else, but my opinion differs a bit. I use a multitude of lines in my acts that I have heard other performers use and liked. I see tricks and routines that I thought were GREAT and have learned them and incorporated them into my act. Of course I added in my own personality, but the general outline of the routine was from something I had learned from watching another magician work the art.

I personally would be honored to see someone else use my act or a routine that I have come up with. I could watch for their mistakes, look for areas of weakness, and give the performer advice on how to fine tune things. It would be pretty cool!

I don't know if I am just weird, but I LOVE to help out other magicians when I feel like I have something to contribute. I don't get caught up in the mess of, "Hey! That's my line," or, "He stole that from me." Magic to me is a beautiful thing. Before I got into these forums, I had no idea there was so much politics involved. I regret knowing it now. It has put a damper on the general image of magicians that I had developed in the past.

I am sure I am not alone in saying that I am completely addicted, totally infatuated, and without a doubt, a magician for life. I will always offer help or advice to any other magician without getting caught up in the politics of things .I respect the ethics involved in the secrecy of magic, illusions, effects, and their creators' credits, but I think that is as far as it should go. If we start putting a copyright on performance style, patter, one liners, and routines,it would be going a bit too far.

Sorry for rambling.

Tom :)
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Aug 2, 2002 09:53AM)
Hi Tom,
I see your point of view, however, everyone is different. What's the point of going out of your way to come up with new presentations, effects, etc., just for others to think they can lift them as they like?

How would you feel, for example, if you had an act that gave you a living for 20 years and probably 20 more. Then suddenly someone does your act or a part on TV. You are now in the position of having to find new stuff and someone else is getting the praise for your hard work and efforts!

Why not just ask the performer if you can use the line or effect?

With a little effort you can contact almost any magician anywhere in the world. So where is the harm in asking and respecting the performer's wishes?

I too am happy to share, but I like to keep some things to myself.

Don Alan dropped out of magical oranizations for many years because of this.

I do not see this as politics but common courtesy.

Phillip
Message: Posted by: MAGICTOM (Aug 2, 2002 11:05AM)
That's a good point Phillip. I am pretty new to magic, only about 2 years, and I have not had the opportunity
to become a full time paid professional yet. I am learning though, more every day. I can see how someone stealing an act could be pretty devastating to someone who has been performing and working on it over a long period of time. I did not think of it in the business perspective. I guess I should have.

Thanks for the insight .

Tom :)
Message: Posted by: Priest (Aug 2, 2002 11:54AM)
[b]"In my head I am putting together a short street routine. From the different shows I've seen on the streets here of NYC,"[/b]

Look at that? You have ONE sentence, and then HALF of the other sentence. Those two sentences don't go together. And when you cut out the rest of the second sentence, you lose the meaning.

What I said was:

"In my head I am putting together a short street routine. [b]From the different shows I've seen on the streets here of NYC, it's best to explain to people that you are about to do the great finale, but FIRST, time to collect the tips.[/b]"

This doesn't say anything about stealing routines or tricks. I didn't say that I was putting a show together from the shows I saw on the street. There's a period there before I start the next sentence. PERIOD = FULL STOP. What it does talk about is a method of collecting TIPS. This would be the same as if I said, "From the different restaurants I've eaten at, I find it best to order drinks first before ordering your food."

Understand?

Actually, I've never seen any street magicians on the streets here of NYC except for David Blaine. I wonder why that is? I've seen jugglers, breakdancing, singing, etc. Never saw a street magician.

Anyway, that quote was taken out of context and misquoted. It's an honest mistake, where you were probably just misreading it, or didn't take it the way I meant it. It had nothing to do with stealing, or even a routine. It was about collecting tips.

So back to the ORIGINAL topic. Thanks everyone for the suggestions. As I said, I'm trying to get it all worked out in my head before I start putting it into reality. I just wanted a really amazing finale, something to give the audience for tipping me so well. :righton:

~Priest~
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Aug 2, 2002 12:45PM)
Hi,
Deepest apologies. I do now see my error in reading your post. It was my poor reading. Once again, I do apologize to you.
Phillip
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Aug 2, 2002 01:07PM)
Thanks, Priest, for pointing that out. I must admit that in my reading of your post, I came to same conclusion as Phillip. So it is good that you cleared it up.

And to Phillip, it seems (since I also misread it) to have been an understandable response to what seemed to be said.

Thanks for defending the art. I fully agree with what you say about not taking someone else's routine and using it without permission. That is right!

Back to Priest, a lifetime of street learning is available in Jim Cellini's The Art of Street Performing, and even at $60, in my opinion, it is a real bargain.

Sonny Holiday sets up his whole act with the statement that he is going to do some good tricks, and then a great trick. So he gets them hanging in, waiting for great! That is a good strategy!

Now, what to do??? I would say that the closing routine has to be one you are passionate about! It will become your signature in time. So you had better love it, and love performing it.

For me, simple and powerful is cups and balls with an amazing production at the end.

BroDavid
Message: Posted by: Priest (Aug 2, 2002 01:27PM)
Philip, it's alright. I figured that it was just a case of misreading it, which could have been my problem. I Should have put a new line between those sentences (I went back and edited it).

But like BroDavid, I also want to thank you for defending the art of magic. I agree with the things you said and I wouldn't even think of stealing someone's routine. Magic to me is just for fun, not a source of income, and it would be no fun if I couldn't just be myself and come up with my own routine.

Besides, coming up with a good routine it difficult, and takes time and practice. Ripping off a routine would be like stealing from a brother. And yet, there are magicians who do that to other magicians.

I don't understand why some magicians want to make this art of ours to be a large competition. Maybe it is. To me, it's just fun and we should all try to help each other out.

(Then again, when your total source of income depends on it, I guess that does make you a bit competitive to be THE BEST.)

~Priest~
Message: Posted by: The Great Zambini (Aug 3, 2002 06:50AM)
Priest:
A suggestion. If you have not been to Reuben's Delicatessen on Madison and 38th (S.W. corner) on a Saturday afternoon, go.
Ask for Sol Stone and inquire about street magicians in the Big Apple. Sol is a true gentleman, not to mention a great magician. He will help you will find great resources. Bring a few effects with you. Give Sol my best from sunny Florida.
The last mayor (Rudy G) was not a fan of street performers. I don't know about the new one. I tried to get permission to perform in Grand Central Station. Incredible number of people, many out-of-towners and IN DOORS! Although they allow musicians, they were not inclined to allow magicians. Good luck.
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Aug 3, 2002 10:27AM)
MagicTom writes:"I use a multitude of lines in my acts that I have heard other performers use and liked. I see tricks and routines that I thought were GREAT and have learned them and incorporated them into my act. Of course I added in my own personality, but the general outline of the routine was from something I had learned from watching another magician work the art."

Well, I'm sure the performers involved are happy that you like their stuff.
But it is STEALING, pure and simple.

MagicTom adds: "I personally would be honored to see someone else use my act or a routine that I have come up with."

Very possibly.
But I know many, many performers (myself included) who would be mightily ticked off to see you using a line,a routine, or an act that they came up with.
That is called STEALING, pure and simple.

cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com :hmm:
Message: Posted by: Priest (Aug 3, 2002 12:01PM)
I would be honored to see someone use part of my act [b]only[/b] if they took small pieces and built upon them, thus creating their own.

I wouldn't want to walk down the street and see someone using the same act that I used last week. Because then, next time I do it someone might see it and just think I'm a Rip-Off of the person they saw doing it.

If I did see someone with my act, I'd approach them after the show and talk to them. If they are nice, or new, I'd ask them to please not use my act and if they would like, I'd help them come up with their own act. But if they were an idiot and just didn't want to take the time to create their own, I'd just tell them to stop using my act or I will expose them.

I think a lot of times, people just getting into will use an act they saw because it was successful and they don't really know where to start. After a while, they infuse their own personality, and make a few changes and eventually they've created their own act. Still, they show try to make it new and fresh from the start.

~Priest~
Message: Posted by: MAGICTOM (Aug 5, 2002 08:52AM)
Well, Peter, I will have to disagree with you on this one. However, true, if someone videotaped an act, and learned it verbatim, and performed it for an audience, it is without a doubt, stealing and would indeed be unethical and very likely ***** someone off. BUT adopting one-liners or incorporating a general idea into your routine and then personalizing it to a degree that it fits your style of showmanship is, in my opinion, perfectly ethical.

Priest writes:
I would be honored to see someone use part of my act only if they took small pieces and built upon them, thus creating their own.

Priest hit it right on in this statement.
I personally have learned a great deal from other experienced magicians. I have learned how to develop stage presence on a performance, I have learned how to gather a crowd, I have learned how to add a bit of comedy into my routine by using the audience and creating impromptu situations. I have adopted running gags that I had seen before and really liked (again, adding my own personality to them). There are so many things that I have learned, developed, and personalized to fit my character that the list is un-ending.

The way you are using "stealing" as a blanket statement is implying that in all of your experience, at Conventions, shows, lectures, competitions, and in general any magic related event, you have not adopted anything you have seen and personalized it?? If this is true, then I guess we can agree to disagree and you must be one of the most creative individuals I have ever had the pleasure of conversing with.

Take it easy Peter.

Tom Defrange :)
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Aug 5, 2002 12:04PM)
MagicTom writes that "adopting one-liners is, in my opinion, perfectly ethical."

That would depend on what you mean.

For example, how many magicians are there that use the line, "I'm one of the better, cheaper acts," originated by Jay Marshall?

To take that line, is STEALING. To hear the line and be inspired to come up with your own clever self-introduction is NOT.

There are many lines that performers have originated on their own. That makes the line their property.

I'm not sure what you mean by "adopting and personalizing" a line. But using a line that was originated by someone else, without their permission, is certainly unethical.

cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
Message: Posted by: SpiffnikHopkins (Sep 4, 2002 02:40AM)
When I first read this thread, I thought to myself, "Man, we're really getting stuck up," and every time I read it I think that more and more.

To all you defenders of witty one-liners: You're not THAT clever. Odds are someone else has thought up the same line on the opposite side of the globe. Relax and enjoy your work. I'm 1 year into professionally performing magic and borrow a lot of material. Everything from one liners to ideas for tricks. If you buy it in a store and I see it work well, and then go out and buy it ,am I stealing from you? No. I have every right to performing 20th century bra or a stiff rope as you do.

Magic to me is an expression of my personality. If I think something is funny and repeat it, am I stealing? I don't think so. Have you ever re-told a joke you've heard? That's what a one liner is.

Now I most certainly have my own set-up and delivery to every line I use, and to be honest, I'm not even sure what I've picked up from others or thought up myself. I just say what I think works well for the crowd.

I DO NOT think someone should take trick for trick, line for line, steal an act. That's different, but as long as you are more or less doing your own thing, that's cool with me. Who amoungst us hasn't performed a trick someone before us has? Huh? How different is that from a line? You've told jokes you didn't think of haven't you? Odds are you have at best 1 or 2 truly original tricks in your whole act (and if you read more, Robert Houdin has probably already done it).

Get off your high horse and realize what you're doing the whole time is re-performing something someone else has already done. It's not what you do or say, but how you set it all up and deliver it. Ever heard someone murder a joke you've heard told better? Well, odds are anyone who tries to rip off your lines with no talent or anything will bomb even with your witty line.

Chill out and do what you do. Magic is 100% presentation and you can't steal that.

~Spiff

PS If it's that great, copyright it. Oh wait, most of the trick you do ARE copyrighted and you perform them and get ticked when others then take 5 words of your act.
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Sep 4, 2002 05:34AM)
Judging from this thread, those who are going to steal lines, ideas, effects and routines are going to do that no matter what!
So go ahead.
But remember: better a poor original that a good copy! :rolleyes:
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Sep 4, 2002 07:07AM)
Peter, you are 100% right. I was going to jump into the fray but figured, why bother.

Thankfully most thieves don't last long and those who do, once they start getting ostrasized for being dirt balls, usually come to see the light.

Those who don't never amount to much anyway.

But you can't argue with someone who has been in magic for a year and thinks they have all the answers.

They don't know enough yet to realize how presumptuous they are being.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Pokie-Poke (Sep 4, 2002 12:11PM)
[quote]
On 2002-08-02 03:35, p.b.jones wrote:
"In my head I am putting together a short street routine. Frm the different shows I've seen on the streets here of NYC, "

Have you thought that perhap's some people will be unhappy about you STEALING parts of their acts?
[/quote]

Boy, was that both misread and misquoted. :whatthe:
I have seen it done both before the finale and after. I do mine after, but I no longer do much in NYC. If working WSP then it is a good idea, but remember that what works there probably won't play in other venues.

I stole my act. :bawl:
All of it. :bawl:
As most of you know, I am a juggler, and juggling has been around for over 4000 years.
And in that time someone must have done my act or at least part of it. Now I do magic, also. So who first coined the phrase, "Pick a card." I want to at least be able to give proper credit. If you are doing the same act for 20 yrs and some one else can come up and did it better than you, to the point that people think that you copied them, get a new act. There is nothing new under the sun, and just because we can look up someone famous who "invented" a trick 100 yrs ago dosesn't mean some guy didn't showed it to him in a bar the night before.
I have had people copy my act. They fail. Why??
Because if you have to copy an act and are not good enough to come up with your own, then you are also not good enough to tell why your presentation is not working.

The hardest thing in magic is not any sleight, cut, drop, palm, it is the PERFORMANCE! The presintation is every thing! And if you are good enough to do that, then why steal someone's act? If you are good, then by the time you are done with it, it will be yours anyway.

The moral of this story is:
DON'T copy an act. Be inspired by it to make your own. And if someone presents THEIR act in a similar form after seeing your act, watch it, learn from it. As you inspired it, maybe THEIR presentation of it will inspire you!

:birthday:
It's no one's b-day. I just like the cake ;)
Message: Posted by: Ron Giesecke (Sep 7, 2002 10:47PM)
Speaking of available one-liners, has anybody ever read "Magic for Dummies?" David Pogue has some of the greatest, funny lines in there I have ever read--especially, for the trick-gone-wrong scenario--which happens to even the best of us from time to time.

One example:

"I'm sorry, the real magician will be here shortly."

Cheers,

Ron
Message: Posted by: flooglestreet (Nov 29, 2002 10:41AM)
I close with a biggie, of course, and for some reason I can't pass the hat. "I'm all tied up," (straight jacket) or some other trick specific line. Then I select an appealing audience member to collect for me. As for stealing, take from me and give me some idea of value. In vaudeville, a good comic helped a poor comic out with a complete routine (his) and then found his own routine was bombing. Why? His student got booked in his venues a week before him. The second rater even played the president with his mentor's act, cracked the pres up and billed himself as the guy who got the president (forgot who) to laugh. That's theft. Although he was given the routine, he didn't make it his own and he didn't allow for his mentor. This post wasn't originally about theft and I don't see why the original poster is getting theft replies.
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Nov 29, 2002 12:29PM)
lol...This kills me.

Hey, Danny, remember Cellini said to you, "Danny, there's nothing new under the sun." Remember? Well, I want you guys to name one of the greats who hasn't borrowed a line. Name one. You can't. Sheriden? Cellini? Gazzo? Me? :)lol

Here's the thing, you can steal all the lines you want but you will never be able to deliver those lines like the original. You might deliver them better, but not the same. I used to do Cellini's rope routine line for line. Didn't work for me. I had to change it. Still do it, but it's ever changing. Borrow an idea and make it yours. Then you are advancing the art. It will never get better unless we make it better. Advance the art.

Hey, who invented the first computer? I wonder if they are *****sed. I mean, everyone is making them now, but it was his idea. Well, the world is better because someone borrowed an idea. Take it, improve it, and make it yours. There's nothing wrong with that.

Gazzo just put out a new video. It has, WOW, Danny, how many killer lines? You will see all kinds of guys using them next year on the streets. They won't deliver like Gazzo, though. And I tell you what, Gazzo did not come up with those lines.

For the new guy, Priest, come watch me. You can use my whole show. No problem. I would be honored if you liked it that much. You can have the lines, the whole thing. I could do my show right next to yours and it would still be different.

Here's the real deal, Priest: Study the greats--Gazzo, Cellini. Buy the video, [i]The Art of Street Performing[/i]. It will save you years of hard knocks on the street and it's well produced. Who produced that video, Danny? :) That guy, kozmo, is brillant. lol....

koz
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Dec 2, 2002 10:01AM)
[quote]
On 2002-11-29 13:29, tedb wrote:
lol...This kills me.

Hey, Danny, remember Cellini said to you, "Danny, there's nothing new under the sun." Remember? Well, I want you guys to name one of the greats who hasn't borrowed a line. Name one. You can't. Sheriden? Cellini? Gazzo? Me? lol
[/quote]

You know Kozman, I hate it when you're right. :)

There are "Standard" lines. We all have been known to use them. Not "me," of course. (Feeling my nose to see if it is growing).

BUT, I NEVER go and see another guy's act and pull out the notebook and hack material line for line from another's show.

As you said, it won't fit my personality. Much of the stuff in my act I either wrote or paid for and re-wrote. This is also why my act isn't all that great yet :)

As far as Gazzo goes, he does use a lot of standard lines but he also writes a great deal of them. I have worked on bits with him and seen it done. Not so surprisingly, these are the lines that are most often hacked from his show.

The interesting thing is, the BEST lines are usually comebacks you get from people in your audience. I OFTEN write these ad-libs down.

Bottom line though, if your entire act is stolen from one place (one place is key here) and you are doing someone else's act verbatim, that is not cool.

On the other hand, if you are a student and a teacher teaches you an act move for move, line for line, this is a very good way to get out there, and understand the process. In no time at all you will stray from the template and inject your own personality into the show and it will become yours.

There is a big difference between stealing and being taught.

This thread has given me a headache and made me rethink the black and white way I look at this. Hmm.. no wonder why I like to come here. I learn something new everyday.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Dec 2, 2002 11:57AM)
Well, Danny, you are still the man in my book. Line for line? Nope, don't do it. We don't need 10 new Gazzos. But taking an idea, even if it's a line, and reworking it and making it your own, well, now you have something. You have to re-work it anyway because it won't work unless you do. I have taken some other guys' lines, tried them and failed. "My dad left when I was 10 years old. Very sad. Yea, he moved to Canada. Saw a sign that said drink Canada dry." Tried it. Didn't work. But Gazzo did it and it was funny. For it to work for me I would have to change it.

Here's the problem: Some guys sit around in their rooms, working on the act.--magic, lines, standing, all that stuff--then go out and perform it. Man, they have worked for 2 years. Hit the streets and BAM!!!!!!!. Nothing works. No laughs, no nothing. You have to practice your sleights, right, and you have to practice your act. And the only way to do that is to perform it--live! And you will take a line or 2 and try it. Some will work and some won't. And you will find yourself because those lines will change to fit you. To be a pro you have to accept the pain, the rejection. And after all of that, if you persist, you will get there. Maybe. :)

Now Danny here is a pro and I bet he will tell you all my act is always changing, getting better. He's been doing magic since childhood and Danny's old, let me tell you. But still, after all this time, it's changing. Danny, you are still the man!

This is another koz moment. :)

Over and out.

koz
Message: Posted by: zantium2999 (Dec 3, 2002 10:30AM)
Phillip, (P.B.Jones) what kind of answer is that? If you even consider yourself a magician then you must have at least ten to fifteen tricks perfected and exactly how many of these have YOU asked permission to use?

Don't you hate hypocrites? :mad: